The recent murder of University of Virginia student Yeardley Love by her ex-boyfriend and fellow college student George Huguely has drawn attention to the ways in which the university could have prevented this tragedy from happening.

In this article, the authors poignantly state “the most critical element in combating relationship violence will always be a willingness by students to speak out rather than remain silent — out of fear, complacency or shame. And that’s hard to impose through policies or awareness campaigns.”

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In this way, the authors highlight the multilevel prevention efforts that are necessary to change the climate of a university.

Although it is alleged that Huguely had been aggressive toward Yeardley and others before, that aggression had not reached the point where he was kicked off the lacrosse team, suspended from school or had as much as a protective order against him. As a community we must begin to ask ourselves where we draw the line. At what point do we step in an say: this is not o.k.? Unfortunately, in many cases, it takes a tragedy such as this to really get people to step up and do something about the violence around them.

 So, our challenge for this month is to ask that question in all of the spaces that we are a part of… in our schools, at our work, in our homes, with our friends, in our congregations, in our teams, at our clubs, in the organizations that we are a part of: where do we draw the line on violence? When and how do we step up and say that’s not o.k.? Whose responsibility is that? What does that look like? How can we foster healthy non-violent communities?